The Real Fantasy

Kitty has always dreamed of her fantasies coming true . . .

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2. Jaden Cooper

I take Jaden’s hand and pull myself up. I think that I’m going to melt right there as his chocolate coloured eyes stare into mine. He’s got curly dark brown hair which is always messy and the most gorgeous smile I have ever seen. It’s no wonder every girl in the year has a crush on him.

As I brush myself down, I reach for my bag and – oh no – Jaden’s bag is on the floor too and its side has split with most of its contents scattered across the floor. I know that this is my fault. So I do what I do best when I’m nervous: talk.

‘Oh, Jaden, I’m so sorry. That was my fault for not looking where I was going and now all you stuff’s on the floor. Don’t worry; I’ll pick it all up. I’m so sorry, I –‘

‘It was already split, Ki–‘

‘I promise that I’ll buy you a new bag since this one’s broken ‘cause of me. At least nothing else is broken, but if you do notice that something’s broken then just tell me and I’ll get a new one as this is my fault –‘

‘My bag was already broken!’ he says over my babbling.

I freeze. ‘It was?’

‘Yeah, I was trying to fix it as I was going down the corridor and when we bumped into each other I dropped it. See, not your fault so don’t worry.’

‘Oh, erm, well . . .’ Why do I have to go red? Why? ‘OK, um, I’ll still help you pick everything up and . . .’ I look round for inspiration on what to say next and see the corner of a book poking out the split in his bag. I pick it up and look at the cover. ‘Hey, I didn’t know that you read Suzanna Newbridge.’

‘Yeah, I do,’ he says, looking embarrassed.

‘Huh, that’s cool. I’ve read them all about five times – can’t wait for the next one to come out.’

I brush my fingers over the cover, smoothing out the creases. It has a picture of a pale girl with straight jet black hair, her fringe almost covering he eyes. There are little blue flowers circling round her. In bold letters at the top are the words ‘The Chronicles of Suzanna Newbridge: Drooping Bluebells’. It’s the second of the series.

‘I think that this one’s my favourite,’ I say. ‘How far through are you?’

‘Page three,’ Jaden answers, putting on a mock proud smile. ‘I only started this morning.’

‘Fair enough,’ I shrug.

I’ve got to say that this conversation is turning out to be a lot less awkward than I thought it would be. Never would I have thought that I would actually have something in common with the Jaden Cooper. Wow. Maybe something good will actually happen today.

‘Um, I’m not trying to offend you, Jaden,’ I say, ‘but I never thought of you as one of the most avid readers.’

‘I know what you mean,’ he says softly. I think I might just melt in his voice. ‘If you get a book out at school, people permanently mark you as a geek, don’t they? I mean, I never thought of you as the reading type either, Kitty.’

My heart suddenly flutters. He knows my name!

‘How do you know my name?’ I blurt out without thinking.

He looks kind of surprised. ‘Err . . . everyone knows your name, Kitty – you never shut up.’

‘Oh.’ Now I’m the one looking surprised. I quickly change the subject. ‘So, um, why did you bring your book with you if you never read it at school?’

‘I usually read on the bus home’ – he glances at his watch – ‘which leaves just about now.’

‘Oh!’

I thrust his book back into his hands, then begin to pass him all his things spread out on the carpet while he stuffs them in his bag. He runs off down the corridor, shouting ‘Bye, Kitty!’ over his shoulder.

‘I’m sorry if I make you miss your bus,’ I yell anxiously back to him, but I don’t think he hears me.

I watch him turn a corner, holding his bag so that nothing falls out through the split. If the bus leaves without him, it really would be my fault. He’d be stuck at school until someone comes to get him and it would be all because of me . . .

Well, at least he knows my name, I think, making my way to the exit.

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